The clock is ticking on support for Windows 7. In January 2020, Microsoft will stop producing updates for it, which means that any unresolved security issues will stay permanently unresolved and any new security issues which emerge will never be fixed, at least not by Microsoft. What’s more, there will be no further updates to Windows 7’s inbuilt security software.
Putting all this together, means that it will be absolutely vital that anyone who continues to use Windows 7 protects their computer with a great antivirus for Windows 7. Fortunately, there are some great, free antivirus solutions for Windows 7. Here is how to choose one.
Check to make sure that the antivirus is regularly updated
Antivirus products probably have to be updated more than any other form of software. Not only are new viruses being created all the time, but they are taking on new forms. For example, in the old days, viruses had to be hidden in some kind of code, whereas now there is something called “fileless malware”, which is basically malicious software which can exist outside of coding.
Additionally, there are now all kinds of other cybernasties floating around the internet with creators now mixing and matching existing forms of malicious software to create new ones and also coming up with entirely new forms of threat. Cryptojackers and ransomware, for example, are both relatively new creations but both are growing rapidly.
If you can’t find a way to tell when a free antivirus for Windows 7 was last updated, then try looking for reviews of it. If you can find recent reviews from happy customers then it’s a very strong indication that the antivirus is being updated as it should be.
Check to make sure that the antivirus actually protects against all malware
Picking up from the previous point, these days the term “antivirus” is, or should be, just used for marketing. What you actually need is a program which protects against all forms of malicious software from adware to worms and including everything in between, especially spyware. There are several reasons why it is essential to have robust protection against spyware. Most of them revolve around the fact that spyware is designed to be almost impossible to detect without a solid antivirus plus the fact that it has the potential to do massive damage not just to your computer, but to your life. This is not remotely an exaggeration, spyware can lay the ground for identity theft, which can have devastating consequences.
Check to see whether or not it is cloud-based
Traditional antivirus products for Windows 7 are downloaded and installed on your computer and updates are applied by means of further downloadable patches. The problem with this approach is that it creates a very heavy payload for the host PC and this is likely to be a particular issue with Windows 7 PCs because they are likely to be lower-specced than modern computers and will almost certainly be running older hardware. Cloud-based antivirus products, by contrast, take the burden of the work off the host PC and move it onto servers which are better able to cope with it. As an added bonus, it’s quicker to update software in the cloud (and there is no possibility for human error) so users get faster protection against new threats as they emerge.
Check to make sure that it can block adverts
There are two good reasons for blocking adverts on Windows 7 PC. The first is that modern adverts can be fairly resource-demanding and hence can slow down older PCs. The second is that adverts are increasingly used as a means of spreading malicious software. This is known as “malvertising”. Some malvertising requires users to be tricked into clicking on links but it is also possible for malicious software to be activated just by an advert being shown on screen.
Check the brand behind it
You really need to be careful with free software, especially free antivirus software for Windows 7, because a lot of it is actually malware. In simple terms, the fact that software is now mostly downloaded (or used in the cloud) rather than sold on physical media is a convenience for consumers but it is also a convenience for cybercriminals as it makes it easier for them to pass off their creations as legitimate software. You therefore need to be absolutely sure that you are dealing with an established, reputable cybersecurity company. Comodo has been protecting people for over 20 years and is trusted by millions. Click here right now to download Comodo free antivirus for Windows 7.